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|ULM falls to LSU 4-1 despite valiant effort|
The ULM Warhawks baseball team played like champions, but came up short against the number one seeded LSU Tigers 4-1 before 9,902 fans at Alex Box Stadium on Friday night in the second game of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
With the loss, forth seeded ULM (31-29) fell into the loser's bracket where it will face third seeded Belmont at 2 p.m. on Saturday where the Warhawks will be the home team.
LSU (44-16) advances to the winners' bracket and will face the number two seeded the Oregon State Beavers at 7:00 p.m. at Alex Box. All Baton Rouge Regional games can be seen on Comcast Cable's CSS Channel 28. For Dish subscribers, all Baton Rouge Regional games will be televised on Cox Sports TV.
ULM took an early 1-0 lead thanks to a Les Aulds' RBI single to right field which scored Taylor Abdalla in the top of the third inning.
LSU would answer in the bottom of the third as Arby Fields got on base thanks to a fielder's choice. Fields advanced to third thanks to a failed pickoff attempt by ULM pitcher Randy Zieglar. Next up, Auston Nola hit pop up to left field which scored Fields to tie the game 1-1.
ULM had a chance to break the game open in the top of the seventh as the Warhawks had the bases loaded with one out against Tigers' starter Aaron Nola. Unfortunately for ULM, Nola got designated hitter Corben Green to hit into a double play to end the threat.
"We've been in that situation before. That's part of the game and our guys understand that," ULM Coach Jeff Schexnaider said. "It was a let-down for our guys because we felt it coming as an opportunity and in games like this, you can't miss those opportunities and we know that. It probably got them [LSU] more emotionally into the game because that was a big swing for those guys to not let us score."
LSU third baseman Tyler Hanover drove in the game-winning runs with a two-RBI single to center field that scored Ty Ross and Alex Edward in the bottom of the seventh.
Zeigler (5-7) took the loss for the Warhawks where he allowed four runs on five hits, walked one and had three strikeouts. Aaron Nola (7-4) picked up his seventh win of the year for the Tigers.
"I have to tip my hat to ULM and to their pitcher Randy Zeigler," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "That was a tremendous ball game, it really was. That was NCAA postseason play at its best. I just thought it was an overall tremendous ball game. Aaron (Nola) and Randy were going after each other one pitch at a time. I think our defense might have made the difference in the game. They had a couple of missed plays, and we played flawlessly."
Thanks to a perfect ninth inning, LSU relief pitcher Chris Cotton earned his first save of the season.
ULM will be looking to junior right hander Cale Wine to pitch against Belmont on Saturday.
"Tomorrow we're going to start Cale Wine our junior right-hander," Coach Schexnaider said. "He's been our Sunday starter here in the conference games, and lately he's been our second starter."
Photo courtesy of ULM
Photo Caption: ULM pitcher Randy Zieglar pitched a great game for the Warhawks, but came up short against LSU 4-1 in the second game of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional at Alex Box Stadium on Friday night.